Holocaust Poetry by Lois Olena

The Archivist

Note by note
I type the history
of the victims of the
Third Reich.
plays out through my soft,
safe digits;
haunting violin tones
fall away as the next song begins.
luscious chords
rock me, caress me, sway me
side to side
like a cattle car fading into the distance.
What is this caught in my throat?
Raw Potatoes?
Black Bread?
No matter…
move on; they're waiting.
Hurry! Finish!
Pay your bills.
Feed your face.
Play your PC piano
until weariness from the death march
lays you gently down in the snow
for your afternoon nap
and you dream
that the knock on your door
is the UPS man
come to take you away.


It was Christmas Eve
and there was no room in the inn,
the Oświȩcim inn,
so the Arrow Cross
took the children,
and in their nighties,
out to the Danube
and filled their little bellies
not with bread
but bullets,
flipping them
into the icy river.

It was the Red Danube
that night,
choking on the blood
of orphan Jews
who floated downstream
on their tour of Europe
until they washed up
on the shores of Eretz Yisroel
and came back to life,
their little blue-and-white
raised high,
flapping in the wind.